Going to the dentist can be scary for young children. They’re taken to an unfamiliar place where someone they don’t know uses seemingly scary tools to look inside their mouths! At Mark A. Strandburg DMD, we understand that going to the dentist for the first or 20th time is overwhelming for kids (and adults for that matter). That’s why we make it as friendly and comfortable as possible.
If you’re about to take your child to his or her first dental visit or if your child is feeling nervous about their dental appointment, read the tips below to help your child overcome the fear of going to the dentist. Then, schedule an appointment at our family dental practice.
Before Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist
Dr. Strandburg begins providing dental cleanings to children when they turn three. But we love meeting your kiddos even earlier to show them we’re here to keep them healthy. Here’s how you can prepare your toddler for his or her first visit.
Schedule a Happy Visit with Dr. Strandburg
Children three and younger who are uncertain about seeing the dentist can visit us for a Happy Visit at no charge. We’ll let them ride in a dental chair, watch cartoons while we count their teeth, and at the end we give them a balloon and a prize from our treasure box. This is an excellent way to show kids that the dentist is their friend.
Tell Your Child What a Dental Checkup Is Like
Don’t go into too much detail, but explain to your child what the dentist will do. Keep it simple, saying things like, “The dentist will look at your teeth to make sure they are healthy,” or “The dentist will count your teeth so you know how many you have.” Use positive language and steer clear of scary words like “hurt.”
Say that You’ll Be there the Whole Time
We allow parents to accompany their children to the treatment room. Let your child know that you will be with him or her while meeting with the dentist. Knowing a familiar face will be nearby can put many children at ease. While you’re at your child’s appointment, talk to the dentist and to your child using reassuring words. This will show your child that the dentist is nice, just like mommy and daddy!
What to Do if Your Child Is Afraid of the Dentist
We recommend bringing children to the dentist before they turn three, because this allows them to become familiar with the process of a dental checkup. As your child gets older, the dentist will seem less scary if your child is familiar with the process.
Grab your child’s toothbrush and pretend to be the dentist. Brush and count his or her teeth, explaining that the real dentist will do something similar. Once you’re done, see if your child wants to pretend to be the dentist by checking your teeth or a favorite stuffed animal’s teeth. Talk about the dentist as you’re pretending and reassure your child that it isn’t scary.
Schedule a visit today by calling 478-287-2179! We are happy to help parents prepare their kiddos for a visit to see us.